All social media platforms serve as a tool for storytelling.
Whether users are telling the stories of various humans of New York, sharing the story of their weekend through a series of 10-second photos, or capturing the perfect meal through the proper filter, all social networks empower users to publish their lives or the lives of others.
Twitter is no exception to this rule. However, the platform has always been unique in comparison to its competitors: Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Perhaps Twitter’s most defining differentiator is its less visual platform, specifically compared to Snapchat and Instagram. Even so, Twitter is still competing (and generally winning) in the social media space. The question is… how?
What Makes Twitter Work?
Twitter has an ace in the hole: it is the undisputed platform of choice for live events and iconic pop culture moments. From the 2016 presidential election to social justice movements to sporting events, people turn to Twitter for real time updates and to express their reactions and observe others’.
What is going in world news? Follow @CNN.
What is the score of the latest game? Follow @espn.
Who is the next big musician? Follow @allsongs.
How was your friend’s last day of work? Follow her account. (Don’t, though, because she is really MY friend.)
From the personal news of your friendship to global news, Twitter perfectly curates and delivers your content. Twitter has transformed into the modern day newspaper and that is why users love its platform.
Users are notified when people within their network are tweeting, retweeting or liking the same topic or trend– so even if a user is not privy to the conversation, they can join in without missing a beat.
How Will Twitter Grow in the Future?
Twitter’s latest move toward growing their cash flow and number of users is broadcasting sports within the platform. Twitter recently signed its first broadcasting deal with the NFL, which will allow the company to stream 10 Thursday night football games this upcoming season.
And football is not the only sport Twitter is interested in: last month the platform hosted live coverage of Wimbledon. Plus the social media company has signed deals with the MLB, NHL, NBA and Pac-12 Networks.
Livestreaming sports may address the two main barriers of the platform. First, creating a steady flow of revenue. Potential advertising for brands most likely will pique the interest of marketers, providing a constant, dependable flow of cash. Second, broadcasting sports may help grow the amount of people who use the platform. The games will be available for people to stream regardless of if they have a Twitter account. This provides access to those who may have never interacted with the platform the opportunity to become familiar with the social media network. If people would like to join the conversation where they are tuning in, Twitter is the most natural fit, which may lead to more people signing up.
Case Study: Olympics 2016
Over the past couple weeks, our analytics team took a look at Twitter presence of the five members of this year’s USA women’s gymnastics team. Below you will see the number of mentions each member accrued over the entirety of the artistic gymnastics competition (August 06, 2016 – August 11, 2016; August 14, 2016-August 16, 2016).
If this volume of mentions can be amassed with merely five athletes in the span of two weeks, Twitter may be on the verge of becoming an untouchable competitor in the social media space.
Even outside of the five gymnastics’ superstars, Twitter has been bustling during the Olympics.
- Tweeters have empathized with parents of competitors.
- They have created overnight memes such as #PhelpsFace.
- They have shamelessly praised their favorite athletes.
It is clear the platform succeeds during live events, regardless of whether the event is streaming within the platform or not. However, one can only imagine how much success the network could have if the events that people were speaking about actually live-streamed in their feeds.
The combination of creating a platform where users can share their thoughts in real time while never having to leave the app could be the reason that Twitter does not just survive, but thrives. Plus, it eliminates the pain points of cross screen marketing for marketers, which may also be a reason they pay big bucks in ad dollars.
If streaming sporting events serves as a lucrative vehicle to gain revenue and users, Twitter may continue to strike up additional partnerships with other live events outside of the sports market. For example, Twitter broke social media ground by live-streaming the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Twitter is thinking outside the box and launching into new spaces, and we are excited to continue to grow our clients through this platform.
Creative for this project was provided by Jon Carrillo, a graphic designer at W2O Group. Connect with him on LinkedIn and if you don’t mind the occasional rant about the San Antonio Spurs, follow him on Twitter at @JonnyCTweets!
Research assistance for this project was provided by MDigitalLife intern, Brad Snyder. Brad attends Tiffin University where he is a business major with a focus in marketing and a minor in international business. Connect with him on Linkedin and if you can tolerate Cleveland sports follow him on Twitter at @b_snyds!